My name is Randy Cornelius and I am a senior Communication major here at Santa Clara University. I hail from the small, college town of Corvallis, Oregon and was a transfer student to SCU from another Jesuit university. As a transfer student living in a predominately freshmen dormitory, I found it difficult to connect with my peers. When it came time to figure out Spring Break plans for my freshman year, I decided to apply for an immersion trip through the Ignatian Center- and I'm glad I did! I ended up spending my spring break traveling up to San Francisco to learn about the poverty and homelessness issues that plague the Tenderloin neighborhood. It was an eye-opening and enriching experience and a great memory to begin my next four years at SCU.
One of the most impactful aspects of immersion trips is simply listening to the people and hearing the stories they have to tell. There is an incredible power in just listening to what people have to say. It is often that these stories can provide us with more insight than any news article or book on the same topic. People have a common misconception that we have to go into a community and fix their problems. The reality however, is that by listening, we can better understand the problem. Immersion is important to me, as it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone freshman year and go on a trip that I never thought I would go on. Immersion to me means going into a community different than your own and learning firsthand through stories and education about the social justice issues that plague that particular community. You may not come back from an immersion with the answers to solve the problems, but that's alright. To immerse yourself in another community gives you an unprecedented look that cannot be rivaled elsewhere.comments powered by Disqus